Premier David Eby has issued the following statement marking Black History Month:
“Black History Month is a time to recognize, honour and celebrate the contributions of the Black community in building British Columbia into the place it is today.
“People like Mifflin Gibbs, an entrepreneur who was the first Black person elected to office in what is now British Columbia and who encouraged B.C. to join Confederation; social worker Rosemary Brown, whose advocacy against sexism and racism led to her becoming the first Black woman elected to the B.C. legislative assembly; and Eleanor Collins, known as Canada’s ‘first lady of jazz,’ who was the first Canadian woman and the first Black entertainer to host her own television show in Canada.
“It is these inspirational lives and more that encourage us all to contribute to the well-being of our province, including by learning more about our history and those who have helped build our province.
“Our government is committed to meaningful action to better support Black British Columbians today and in the future.
“We encourage everyone to join us this month in learning more about how Black British Columbians have contributed to our province and our neighbourhoods. We all benefit when we learn about the communities that shape our province, as we build a better future for everyone in British Columbia.”
Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care, said:
“In B.C.’s classrooms, students have an opportunity to learn about diverse cultural histories in B.C., including the history and contributions of Black British Columbians. We know some students, staff and families continue to face inequity and racism within our schools. Strengthening topics like Black history and other diverse cultural histories is key to ensuring all students are included and represented throughout their studies.”
Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, said:
“As we celebrate Black History Month and the numerous contributions Black people have made to B.C., we know there is still much work to be done. That’s why we are building on the Anti-Racism Data Act, which was passed in 2022, and working on an anti-Black racism strategy to address the unique challenges faced by Black communities.”